Well, this is going blow the suspense right away, but here we go: You can’t get a left hand drive (LHD) Japanese mini truck. However, keep reading and you will find out why this isn’t such a big deal that you need to give up on your Japanese mini truck-owning dream.
Japanese Mini Trucks Are RHD, But That Isn’t A Problem
In Japan, the drivers sit on the right side of the vehicle. (Apparently, the fact that cars drive on the left in Japan, has its historical roots in the way samurai warriors always used to pass each other on the left side of the roads to avoid their swords inadvertently clashing, which would have lead to an unnecessary battle over honor. But this isn’t that relevant to off-road Japanese mini trucks in the US, I guess ….)
It’s all the other way around in the US. Driver on left; vehicle drives on right. So isn’t this fact that you can’t get LHD Japanese mini trucks going to be a problem when you buy one in America? Actually, it won’t be, for (at least) two good reasons:
Japanese Mini Trucks Are Sold For Off-Road Use Only
Sure, having the steering wheel on the “wrong” side of your car would be a problem at junctions and in other on-road situations, but these mini trucks sold at Mini Truck Depot are all sold in accordance with EPA and other Federal rules which mean that they are sold to you for off-road use only. When you’re driving around your ranch, or heading out into the wilderness to hunt, whether you’re sitting on the right or left side of your mini truck really doesn’t matter. You really won’t care. The driving position and large window areas make for excellent all-round visibility anyway, so there’s no danger of your accidentally driving off the side of the track or into a tree, or blundering into a recalcitrant bovine.
If Thousands Of British Tourists Can Do This, So Can You
Here’s a different perspective, but have a think for a moment: Every year (at least pre-pandemic) literally thousands of British tourists would arrive in Orlando every day excited about sun, sea and … Disney. It’s an 8 hour flight out of the UK, with a 5-hour time difference as well, so these tourists don’t exactly arrive fresh. They’re weary, the kids are fussing, they’re dragging their suitcases — and they end up at the car rental counter.
At no point does the Hertz, Avis or whatever employee ask them if they’re going to be OK driving from the wrong side of the car. No, just a few signatures later, and these jet-lagged, exhausted British families are let loose on Florida’s roads hoping Google can point them in the right direction to their hotel.
And yet, you won’t be able to recall a single day when the top news story was about the slaughter on Florida’s roads caused by a herd of clueless Brits not able to figure out how to drive on the other side of the road, and how to drive from the other side of the car to what they’re used to. It just doesn’t happen.
Now, if these exhausted, jet-lagged Brits with cars packed with screaming kids and luggage can navigate Florida’s crazy traffic from a driver’s seat on the left, you can surely navigate your traffic-free fields and off-road tracks from a driver’s seat that’s on the right, wouldn’t you agree?
Still Wonder If You Can Do It? Here’s 2 Tips
Maybe you’re still wondering whether you could really handle a Japanese mini truck while driving from the “wrong” side of the vehicle. That’s fine. If this is you, here’s a couple of ideas about how to make it easier:
First, remember that the Japanese mini trucks for sale here come with many different transmission options. Of course, there are the classic 5-speed manual transmission models, but you will also find automatic transmission mini trucks, and even CVT (continuously variable transmission) mini trucks. One way to feel comfortable more quickly in a driver’s seat on the right is to get a non-manual model. Then all you need to focus on is starting, stopping, and steering. No need to teach that left hand how to shift. Easy.
The second idea is this: Don’t dive straight into extreme off-roading. When your mini truck arrives, find a wide-open space in a field where there’s literally nothing to hit, and just cruise around for a while, getting used to the feeling of being on the right and (if you chose a manual model) using your left hand to change gear. (Don’t worry, the pedals are all the same way round whichever side of the vehicle the driver’s seat is.)
After 1/2 hour at most, you’re going to be feeling right at home and forget how you could have ever been wondering about whether you could get an LHD mini truck.
Ready To Learn More About Japanese Mini Trucks?
Delve deeper into the mini truck world by finding out …
- The history of Japanese mini trucks
- Why Japanese mini trucks became popular in the US
- What is it about mini trucks that has people choosing them in droves over UTVs and other off-road vehicles?
- How to choose the Japanese mini truck that fits your needs best.
- Our nationwide independent mini truck dealer network.
Or, see our Japanese mini trucks for sale here.